We’re excited to reveal details of our 2023 National Conference & Awards, which takes place on the 27th of February at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.
The Conference will be the largest in our history and is designed entirely to support our Appointed Representative (AR) firms and advisers in navigating an inflationary and fluid rate environment by being customer-centric, utilising our wholly owned platform, Revolution, whilst sharing market predictions and updates around regulatory changes, such as Consumer Duty.
We will open the conference with a session on our performance over the previous 12 months, including a focus on growth, business standards, and technology, plus how firms can collaborate across a number of product and sector areas.
Elizabeth Martins, UK Economist at HSBC UK will provide a detailed analysis of the current mortgage market, and the outlook for 2023, looking at interest rates, household incomes, the cost-of-living crisis, and how these factors might impact transaction volumes over the next 12 months.
There will also be a lender panel session, moderated by Neil Wyatt of Mortgage Brain, who will invite representatives from Lloyds Banking Group – Esther Dijkstra, Virgin Money – Nicola Goldie, and Accord Mortgages – Jeremy Duncombe, to review current lender activity and help firms understand their direction of travel in areas such as procuration fees, product and technological innovation and lending appetite.
There will also be a session on the most important regulatory issue of recent times, the FCA’s Consumer Duty. Moderated by AMI’s Robert Sinclair, the session will assess the possible challenges for advisers and lenders with the Consumer Duty and how they can overcome them. Our Head of Business Standards, Alex Hill, and UK Finance’s Director of Mortgaqes, Charles Roe, will give practical advice on the support available from the network and how firms can ensure they are ready for the new measures when they are introduced from the 31st July this year.
There will also be a specific session on the buy-to-let market with Timothy Bannister of Rightmove moderating and panel participants, Richard Rowntree of Paragon Banking Group and Liz Syms of Connect for Intermediaries, looking at sector dynamics, how best to support landlords in the current environment, and what to be aware of in terms of Energy Performance Certificates and ensuring greener homes in the private rental sector.
Finally, there will be a session on how advisory firms make even more of the power of social media with Andrew Roberts, our Head of Marketing, and Sophie Placido, Director of PR & Strategy at Rostrum, that will show delegates how potential and existing homeowners are engaging with content, and best practices to ensure positive outcomes for consumers across a range of platforms.
We will also be holding our annual dinner and award ceremony on the evening of the 27th where we will say thank you to all AR firms for their efforts through 2022. It will showcase a range of AR firms for excellence in 2022, with special guest stand-up comedian, Rob Beckett.
Rob Clifford, Chief Executive of Stonebridge, commented:
“This year’s Conference, Dinner and Awards promise to be our best yet, with a two-fold focus. Not only is it our chance to say thank you to all our members, and their staff, for being part of Stonebridge, for all the incredible hard work they have put in and the results they have achieved over the past 12 months. It is also an opportunity to outline some of the challenges and opportunities ahead, the range of support and solutions we have available to meet that head-on, and the ways and means by which firms can be better equipped to continue winning market share by providing their clients with access to all the solutions they need.
“Once again our team has put together an excellent roster of sessions, with experts in their field from right across our industry covering a range of subjects and issues including the UK economy and its impact on our market, lender activity and engagement, the Consumer Duty, buy-to-let and making the most of the marketing opportunity in social media.
“We end the day with an opportunity for our colleagues and member firms to let their hair down, where we will all be entertained by A-list comedian, Rob Beckett, who will provide the laughs, and help us celebrate those AR firms that have performed so brilliantly over the last 12 months. It promises to be an excellent day for all attendees, and we’re looking forward to having all members and stakeholders of the Stonebridge family under one roof, for our second year in the Metropole, Birmingham.”